Most commonly eaten in a sandwich or as a snack, there are a number of ways in which you can consume salami. Strong flavored, tangy salami sausage that has a distinctive flavor can enhance the taste of a dish, imbue it with a savory and delectable quality, and elevate the overall gustatory experience. If you are a true salami fan or someone looking to try cured meats with a twist, look no further: you are at the right place!
We are here to present you with 10 out-of-the-box and creative ways to incorporate salami into your culinary creations. But before rushing toward the recipes, let’s break down some basic information about this dried sausage.
What Is Salami?
Salami is a world-famous meat known for its typical flavor and unique preparation methods. People often consider it raw meat but that is not the case. Salami is cured, a special process that ferments the meat and saves it from spoilage.
Where does salami come from?
It originated in Italy but was prepared all around Europe, especially in middle and southern Europe. Historically, salami was popular among farmers and low class laborers because it can be stored at room temperature for a few weeks supplementing a potentially meager or inconsistent supply of fresh meat. The name may be derived from the Latin word salumen and the English word comes from the Italian plural form salame.
What is salami made of?
From a traditional standpoint, salami is made using and mixing ground pork with salt, garlic and other spices, and then allowing it to cure and dry for a period of time. It is usually served in thin slices as a snack, or as part of a larger meal. Today you’ll find salami using beef, duck, deer, bison, venison, donkey, poultry, and many other sources of meat. From French-style saucisson sec and Spanish-style chorizo salami to smoky flavored hard salami and American pepperoni, there are more than 300 salamis that hail from different countries around the world. That variety makes it a perfect choice for all dried cured sausage lovers!
How Is Salami Traditionally Made?
The traditional way of making salami is a true work of art. The manufacturing process includes:
- The preparation of meat,
The preparation step
One of the 1st steps is to grind the raw meat into a coarse or fine texture depending on the type of salami you are making and to mix it with the spices to give the salami its characteristic taste. If the particular salami variety requires it, bacterial culture or yeast will be added into the preparation. Manufacturers may also include wine during that process. Then the seasoned meat will be stuffed into the desired size casing for fermentation.
The fermentation step
Fermentation is the most important step of salami preparation. It usually requires a humid and warm environment to allow bacteria to ferment the meat in order to give salami its famous taste and texture. During this short process, the salami mixture is exposed to certain types of bacteria and the added sugars are a food source for them. For example, the bacterias produce lactic acid as a waste product which will develop the tangy flavor of the salami. The temperature and humidity of the environment are carefully controlled to ensure that the fermentation process occurs at the desired rate. Any problem during fermentation destroys the salami’s taste rendering it inappropriate to consume. Once the fermentation process is complete, the salami is left for drying and ripening.
The drying process
The traditional technique of salami-making culminates in the drying stage. This step is again very much climate-controlled but in a slightly colder environment than the previous one. Here, the water content of the meat is reduced by half and this is when you will see a white powder forming around the salami. It is a natural mold (also found on some cheese) or flour (commercial producers are allowed to fake the natural good mold) which has a crucial job! It keeps away all of the harmful bacteria to get inside the sausage while drying. It is totally safe to eat and actually adds a unique flavor to your salami.
The Modern Ways Of Manufacturing Salami
Owing to its huge popularity and widespread consumption, salami is now produced on a large scale and in bigger quantities. This involves the usage of modern equipment and machinery to cut down time and labor.
The modern ways of manufacturing salami include using mixers during meat preparation. Other types of automation in the salami manufacturing process include the usage of artificial salami casing, and clipping machine, in order to insert the meat in the casing. Instead of putting casings in a cold and humid environment, mass manufacturers put casings in a hot and humid environment to boost bacterial growth and optimize the process of fermentation.
Traditional handmade salami takes about 6-8 weeks to dry and mature. This is too long and tedious for mass production. Thus, the process is fastened using modern techniques. However, quick drying at high temperatures can compromise the texture and flavor of salami. As a result, manufacturers provide optimal drying temperatures for salami to safeguard its flavors and to avoid the use of drying machines.
World’s 10 Most Popular Salami
There are over 300 varieties of salami. It's difficult, if not impossible, to try and list them all. But we are sure to know and taste the famous ones, as they are globally available. In this list, we present ten of the world's most celebrated salamis:
- Bierschinken Wurst
- Kabanosy Staropolksie
- Nurnberger Bratwurste
- Martadella Bologna
- Kielbasa Krakowsaka Sucha Staropolska
- Saucisson Sec
10 Creative Ways To Use Salami
Since there are wide varieties of salami, they are used in a wide array of dishes. Modern cuisines include salami, giving a nice twist to routine dishes. You can try them too! Here are our favorites!
Focaccia bread with salami and romano cheese.
Instead of using up your remaining salami and cheeses in an ordinary pasta dish, why not take it to the next level? Whip up some delicious focaccia bread by finely chopping them into tiny pieces and adding them to a classic focaccia dough. Doing this and adding smoked paprika will give you bold flavor and texture that you won't get from any other recipe!
Checkout focaccia dough recipe.
Mac N Cheese With Salami
Mac N Cheese is a universally beloved dish. Why not add a little twist to it (and spice it up!) with tangy-flavored salami? Dice salami into small cubes. Prepare Mac N Cheese the way you like, serve it onto plates, and top it with salami cubes. Garnish the dish with your favorite herbs before serving, and bon appétit! With a little effort, you’ll enjoy a different, yet delicious version of Mac N Cheese.
A Quick “Stylish” Sandwich
Planning a picnic or going on a little adventure? Assemble a speedy, yet elegant sandwich using salami and bread. Coat the bread with some cream cheese or any cheese spread of your choice, add a layer of salami, sprinkle it with some herbs and drizzle olive oil. You may add cheese and bake the sandwiches for 5 to 10 minutes. Your stylish sandwiches are ready to be served.
Spice Up Your Soups This Winter
Winter is always the ideal time of the year to cook various soups. Many people consume soups all year round, and restaurants take pride in serving traditional and modern soups by adding their own tweaks to them. Whether you try to make a chunky white bean soup, cranberry bean, chilled tomato soup, chicken soup, or any other soup of your choice, finish it by adding stir-fried or diced salami. Salami adds a spicy flavor and a lot of nutritional value to your bowl of soup.
New take on savory pies & quiches
Ditch the ordinary, and challenge yourself to try something new! Let your guests experience the gastronomic delight of French-style pies or quiches. Olive & bacon pie is a classic favorite among appetizers that is perfect for apéritif in France – but why not make it even better by replacing bacon with salami sausage? You'll be sure to wow all of your guests with this one-of-a kind dish!
You can checkout Olive & bacon pie recipe.
Prepare Unmatchable Salads
Salads are house-full of nutrition. Usually, only veggies were considered a part of salads, but modern salads include all types of vegetables, fruits, cheese, fish and meats such as boiled or grilled chicken or beef. Instead of using regular meats, add salami to your salads to change their flavors, plus it adds a quick and easy protein punch to your mix. Cut your favorite legumes and lettuce, add your salad dressing, give it a nice toss, and your salad bowl is ready in no time.
What about a Salami Frittata
Frittata is a famous Italian egg-based dish. It is made by beating eggs and combining them with a variety of ingredients such as vegetables, meat, and cheese, and then cooking the mixture in a pan until it is set. You can easily enhance and enrich its flavors by adding small chunks of salami and potatoes. Simply stir your vegetables and add your salami chunks at the end (keep in mind that you don’t need to cook salami as it is a ready-to-eat ingredient). Pour egg over the mixture, top it with cheese, and bake it for 10 minutes at 350F. Let us know if you like this tangy Frittata!
Elevate Any Dish With Stir-Fried Salami
Although salami doesn’t need to be cooked, you can stir-fry salami to add a crispy and crunchy texture to use in any dish. Even in your quick morning sandwiches or omelets, it will enhance their flavor. Salami adds a pleasant flavor and pairs well with pasta, pizzas, tortillas, and every other dish. Simple salami slices with cream cheese or hard cheese are also excellent appetizers to serve with bread.
Replace Prawns Or Chicken From Fried Rice With Salami
Fried rice is a quick, tasty, and nutritious hunger killer. You can find a wide range of fried rice across the world: veggies, eggs, and meat, along with diverse sauces.The next time you make fried rice, try replacing the chicken or prawns with the salami of your choice instead. Your fried rice will get a nice tangy twist with salami. Once you use salami in fried rice, we are sure you will not revert to your usual fried rice again!
Salami On Antipasto skewers Antipasti
Antipasto skewers are one of the most relished and sought-after dishes on the table. They are easy to eat, delicious, and a real sight for sore eyes. Pick small salami or double-fold a thin slice of salami on the skewer so it doesn’t hang loosely, add cheese cubes, olives, onions, tomatoes, or anything other ingredients available according to your own preferences. You can drizzle fresh green sauce or olive oil to elevate the flavors. Enjoy!
Besides all of the aforementioned options, you can use salamis in many different ways in many various dishes. Adding salami elevates a dish’s taste and makes them more complex and delicious. We have shared 10 recipes using salami that are easy and can be routinely used.
Aren’t these original recipes too good to pass up? They are simple to make and don’t require any fancy and overly expensive ingredients. You can easily make them with items readily available in your pantry. So which of the ingenious ways of using salami are you going to try first?!